Basilicata wine region

Basilicata, outlined on our map, forms the ankle of Italy’s boot.  Rural, poverty-stricken and underpopulated, it’s oddly inert in wine terms especially when compared to the winemaking ferment going on in neighbouring Puglia (the heel) and Campania (the lower shin), although Calabria (the fore-foot) is also stuck in the doldrums.  Less than 0.2% of Italy’s wine comes from Basilicata.  For decades Aglianico del Vulture was its only DOC, and today is its only DOCG.
Still, if you’re only going to have the one DOC(G), you could do a lot worse than Aglianico del Vulture, which vies with Campania’s Taurasi for the title of southern Italy’s best red appellation.  Both are made from Aglianico, a fragrant, fearsomely acidic and tannic grape that ripens so late it can’t be grown further north, and whose wines have been described as “the Barolos of the south”.
But outside Vulture’s north-eastern corner, there’s not a lot going on in Basilicata.  The other three DOCs Matera, Grottino di Roccanova and Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri are hardly household names and are rarely seen outside Italy… or even outside Basilicata.  And in marked contrast to the flood of interesting, good-value wines sold as IGP Puglia, IGP Basilicata is mostly used by Vulture producers for wines that don’t meet the DOC rules, usually by being made from grapes other than Aglianico.

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